GP practices General practitioner

Last updated:

First contact physiotherapists in General Practice

General Practice is currently experiencing an unprecedented workload and recruitment crisis. With an ageing population, the increase in the numbers of people with multi morbidities, and practices in many parts of the country finding it difficult to recruit more GPs, the idea of developing multi-disciplinary general practice teams can look increasingly attractive.

In addition to the potential workload benefits, the presence of a physiotherapist in a practice can provide patients and the practice management team with more options as to how they provide care to their patient list and potentially benefits patients by allowing them swift access to a specialist.

Physiotherapists have the clinical expertise to autonomously assess, diagnose and treat patients with a range of conditions including: musculoskeletal, neurological and respiratory conditions. Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions alone are estimated to account for 20-30% of GP consultations.

"Where appropriate, GP time freed up by initiatives such as these will allow them to spend more time with those patients who have complex and, often, multiple care requirements."
Krishna Kasaraneni, BMA UK GP Committee

"It has the potential to reduce workload pressures for GPs and their practice staff, as well as improve patient access to skilled general practice musculoskeletal services."
Dr Charlotte Jones, Chair BMA GPC Wales

Find out more about the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy's (CSP) useful guidance and cost calculator below. 


  • Guidance

    This new guidance produced by the CSP in conjunction with the BMA and the RCGP aims to provide GP practices, practice groups and commissioners with information and advice on employing a physiotherapist and the potential of their role within general practice.

    The guidance offers solutions to different scenarios in primary care with a range of practical ways to introduce a physiotherapist role in a GP surgery.

    Read the guidance

  • MSK FPC Model and Physiotherapy Cost Calculator

    The guidance can be used in conjunction with the CSP’s Physiotherapy Cost Calculator and the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance’s MSK First Point-of-Contact Model to make a practical assessment of the potential benefits of employing a physiotherapist.

    Discover how much your service could save compared to current service models. Your results can be used to create a local business case for physiotherapy in primary care.

    Download the AMA MSK First Point-of-Contact Model

    Download the CSP Physiotherapy Cost Calculator


  • Case study

    Find out how a practice in New Forest is reducing workload and developing career opportunities for experienced physiotherapists by offering patients the option of an appointment with the MSK practitioner.

    Read the case study